MC Lyte Says She Wanted To Be Sexier But Record Label Executives Wouldn’t Let Her


She’s a legend in the rap game who is a pioneer for women emcees in hip hop. MC Lyte first came to prominence in the late 1980s as a teenager and made history as the first solo female rapper to drop a full-length album with Lyte as a Rock. Lyte didn’t rely on her sexuality to sell records and was praised strictly for her musical abilities and lyricism, and the rapper discussed why she wasn’t able to show more skin back in the day during her feature on WeTV’s Untold Stories of Hip Hop.

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In a clip from a recent episode, Angie begins by saying it’s important for her to give women in hip hop a voice, and she touched on how the ladies in the industry are oversexualized. The host stated that there is an expectation for female rappers to exude sexuality, but MC Lyte never exemplified that in her career. According to the rapper, that wasn’t necessarily her choice. Although she portrayed a more tomboy style, she didn’t have a problem with showing off her more sensual side.

“The funny thing is, at some point, I was ready to be sexy,” Lyte revealed. “I was reprimanded by my label exec like, ‘No, you don’t have to do that.'” Angie was surprised. “It was the album I dropped in ’91, Act Like You Know,” Lyte continued. “When she saw the photo shoot she called me and she said, ‘What is this? I need you to put your jeans on and I need you to take a photo shoot on the streets of New York.'” Check out the clip from the show and MC Lyte’s music video for her 1992 single “Ruff Neck.”


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